Airbus’ first global forecast predicts 560,000 new pilots by 2035

In its first Global Services Forecast, Airbus has predicted that the number of new pilots needed by the year 2035 will top 560,000.

While today there are an estimated 200,000 active pilots who fly passenger aircraft, Airbus’ GSF predicts that this is set grow to some 450,000 pilots by 2035.

The report shares that the total number of active pilots needed by the year 2035, along with the need to replace flight-crew who retire during the next 20 years, will result in the need to train as many as 560,000 new pilots over this period. In terms of technical staff needed, the Airbus GSF predicts a requirement to train approximately 540,000 new technicians.

The most recent Boeing Pilot and Technician Outlook shared similar numbers, laying out the need for more than 558,000 commercial airline pilots before 2034. As in Boeing’s report, Airbus predicts that the overwhelming need for pilots will be seen in the Asia-Pacific region, while Europe and North America combined will account for approximately one third of the total MRO (Marketing, Repair and Overhaul) market spend.

“The marker for air travel will grow 4.5% per year on average for the next 20 years,” explained Bob Lange, Head of Market and Product services at the aircraft manufacturing giant. This means that Airbus will see more than 33,000 passenger and cargo aircraft delivered over that period, an increase of about 600 over what the company predicted last year.

The airframer confirmed that by the close of Farnborough International Airshow, it had increased net orders this year to 380 aircraft. The release from Airbus stated that its 11 training centres, with more being added, will support the need for qualified pilots, cabin crew and maintenance staff available to support the arrival of thousands of new aircraft into the airlines’ fleets.

Hear Bob Lange, Airbus Head of Market and Product Strategy, discuss the key data driving the airframer’s plans in the video below.

Main picture © Airbus Group/H. Gousse